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Law - Health - 31.12.2014
New Year Honours 2015
Some breathalysers on sale to the UK public vary considerably in their ability to detect potentially unsafe levels of breath alcohol for driving, Oxford University researchers have found. The findings call into question the regulatory process for approving these sorts of devices for personal use, say the researchers, particularly as false reassurance about a person's safety to drive could have potentially catastrophic consequences.

Health - 29.12.2014
Lyme disease enhances spread of emerging tick infection
Lyme disease enhances spread of emerging tick infection
Mice that are already infected with the pathogen that causes Lyme disease appear to facilitate the spread of a lesser-known but emerging disease, babesiosis, into new areas. Research led by the Yale School of Public Health and published Dec.

Life Sciences - Environment - 29.12.2014
Time adds a wrinkle to nature and nurture
Time adds a wrinkle to nature and nurture
Nature and nurture have found a new companion - historical context. A new study has produced the best evidence yet that the role of genetics in complex traits, including obesity, varies over time. Both the era in which scientific research is conducted and the era in which subjects were born may have an impact on the degree to which genetic factors are present in scientific data.

Life Sciences - Health - 29.12.2014
Using light to produce natural sleep patterns
Using light to produce natural sleep patterns
Getting enough of the right kind of sleep is crucial for keeping both body and mind healthy. Now a team of researchers at MIT has moved a step closer to being able to produce natural sleep patterns. In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , the researchers describe how they were able to trigger a period of rapid eye movement (REM), otherwise known as dream sleep, in mice, using a technique that shines light directly on mouse neurons.

Physics - 26.12.2014
Simple model explains complex problems in an ageing heart
Simple model explains complex problems in an ageing heart
Scientists at Imperial College London have developed a model that helps explain why we are more likely to develop an abnormal heartbeat with age. The simple mathematical model also suggests why current treatments for the condition are not always successful. The model mimics how heart muscle tissue changes as we get older, focusing on how the muscle cells in the heart link together to pass electrical signals that create the heartbeat.

Life Sciences - 25.12.2014
Fruit flies respond more effectively to danger when in a group
Fruit flies respond more effectively to danger when in a group
Fruit flies respond more effectively to danger when in a group. A research team discovered this behavior as well as the neural circuits which relay this information, opening a new field of research.

Life Sciences - Physics - 24.12.2014
Scientists Identify Patterns of RNA Regulation in the Nuclei of Plants
Scientists Identify Patterns of RNA Regulation in the Nuclei of Plants
When the human genome was first sequenced, experts predicted they would find about 100,000 genes. The actual number has turned out to be closer to 20,000, just a few thousand more than fruit flies have. The question logically arose: how can a relatively small number of genes lay the blueprint for the complexities of the human body? The explanation is that genes are subject to many and varied forms of regulation that can alter the form of that protein and can determine whether and how much of a gene product is made.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 24.12.2014
Climate change threat to mussels’ shells
The world's mussel population could be under threat as climate change causes oceans to become increasingly acidic, scientists have discovered. In a new paper published today (Wednesday 24 December) in the Royal Society's journal Interface , researchers from the University of Glasgow describe how mussels' shells become more brittle when they are formed in more acidic water.

Life Sciences - 24.12.2014
Ants show left bias when exploring new spaces
24 December 2014 Unlike Derek Zoolander, ants don't have any difficulty turning left. New research from the University of Bristol, published today in Biology Letters, has found that the majority of rock ants instinctively go left when entering unknown spaces. PhD student Edmund Hunt and colleagues studied how Temnothorax albipennis ants explore nest cavities and negotiate through branching mazes.

Life Sciences - 23.12.2014
Cholesterol in food causes inflammation in gut lining
Cholesterol in food causes inflammation in gut lining
Scientists have discovered a possible way in which high fat diets might lead to inflammation in the gut. Working with mice and zebrafish, researchers at Imperial College London discovered that cholesterol, a component of fatty foods, triggers an inflammatory response in the cells lining the gut and impairs the movement of food through the gut.

Health - Life Sciences - 23.12.2014
First results from Ebola vaccine trial show acceptable safety profile
o GSK/NIH Ebola vaccine is 'well tolerated' and generates an immune response o Larger trials in West Africa are needed to tell whether immune responses are large enough to protect against Ebola infection and disease o Results from Oxford University and other safety trials will inform plans for larger trials The first results from a trial of a candidate Ebola vaccine at Oxford University suggest the vaccine has an acceptable safety profile at the doses tested, and is able to generate an immune response.

Life Sciences - Health - 23.12.2014
Using light to understand the brain
Using light to understand the brain
UCL researchers have developed an innovative way to understand how the brain works by using flashes of light, allowing them to both 'read' and 'write' brain signals. The new technique, described , combines two cutting-edge technologies for reading and writing electrical activity in the brain. First, genetically encoded activity sensors enable neuroscientists to engineer nerve cells to visibly light up when they are active.

Administration - 23.12.2014
First scientific report shows police body-worn-cameras can prevent unacceptable use-of-force
As Obama pledges investment in body-worn-camera technology for police officers, researchers say cameras induce 'self-awareness' that can prevent unacceptable uses-of-force seen to have tragic consequences in the US over the past year - from New York to Ferguson - but warn that cameras have implications for prosecution and data storage.

Physics - Chemistry - 23.12.2014
World's most complex crystal simulated at U-Michigan
World’s most complex crystal simulated at U-Michigan
ANN ARBOR-The most complicated crystal structure ever produced in a computer simulation has been achieved by researchers at the University of Michigan. They say the findings help demonstrate how complexity can emerge from simple rules. Their "icosahedral quasicrystal" (eye-KO-suh-HE-druhl QUAZ-eye-cris-tahl) looks ordered to the eye, but has no repeating pattern.

Astronomy / Space - Environment - 23.12.2014
Making the most of a shitty situation
The distinctive "fecal prints" of microbes potentially provide a record of how Earth and life have co-evolved over the past 3.5 billion years as the planet's temperature, oxygen levels, and greenhouse gases have changed. But, despite more than 60 years of study, it has proved difficult, until now, to "read" much of the information contained in this record.

Health - Life Sciences - 23.12.2014
Armed virus shows promise as treatment for pancreatic cancer
A new combination of two different approaches - virotherapy and immunotherapy - is showing "great promise" as a treatment for pancreatic cancer, according to new research from QMUL. The study, funded by the UK charity Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, investigated whether the effectiveness of the Vaccinia oncolytic virus - a virus modified to selectively infect and kill cancer cells - as a treatment for pancreatic cancer, would be improved by arming it with a gene which modulates the body's immune system.

Chemistry - Administration - 22.12.2014
Concerns raised about variable performance of some UK personal use breathalysers
The official UK-wide assessment of all university research, the Research Excellence Framework, found that Oxford has the largest volume of world-leading research in the country.

Law - Health - 22.12.2014
New concussion laws result in big jump in concussion treatment
Laura Bailey, 734-647-1848, baileylm [a] umich (p) edu or Laura Lessnau, 734-647-1851, llessnau [a] umich (p) edu ANN ARBOR-New laws regulating concussion treatment, bolstered by heightened public awareness, have resulted in a large increase in the treatment of concussion-related injuries for school-age athletes.

Life Sciences - 22.12.2014
Fragile bones of modern humans result from reduced physical activity
According to researcher Timothy Ryan,a lack of constant physical activity causes the bone in the head of the femur to become thinner and lighter than that found in more mobile populations or modern primates such as chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. The comparatively light bone structure of modern humans compared to early human species and other modern primates may be due to the modern abandonment of the constant physical activity that was inherent in the life of early hunter gathers, according to an international team of researchers.

Health - 22.12.2014
Light-emitting e-readers detrimentally shift circadian clock
Participants took nearly 10 minutes longer to fall asleep and had a significantly lower amount of REM - rapid eye movement - sleep after reading from a light-emitting e-reader than they did after reading from a print book. UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. You may think your e-reader is helping you get to sleep at night, but it might actually be harming your quality of sleep, according to researchers.
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